How to Extract App Icons and macOS Icons on Mac

Xiaobai Software  2022-08-06 11: 50  read 413 views

If you're working on a project or writing a technical document and need a high-quality Mac app icon, you don't have to search for them on random icon sites.Instead, you can extract them from the app using macOS itself.

Whether it's a default or third-party application, you can easily extract icons in seconds.Below we'll show you how to extract any app and system icons on your Mac.


Extract icons from default or third-party applications

There are two ways to get file icons from your Mac application.The first method is quick and easy, but the second method gives you more size options.

Follow these steps for a quick and easy selection:

1. Control-click an application and select Get Info.

2. Click the application's icon in the upper left corner of the information panel to highlight it.

3. Then, press Cmd + C to copy the icon to your clipboard.

4. Start the Preview application and select File > New from Clipboard.Select your icon from the left column and export.


If you want more options for file icons, go to the Applications folder and find the application for which you want to extract icons.Control-click an application and select Show Package Contents.

The application package will be opened, showing the content folder.In it, you will see several folders and files.Click on the resources folder and you will find a file labeled [app name].icns.This is a special file type that can save several icons of different sizes (16x16, 32x32, 128x128, and more) for an application.


Double-click the [application name].icns file to open it in preview.The left pane shows a list of icons in different sizes.Select your icon and choose File > Export.In the dialog, choose a file format (PNG is usually best), and enable the Alpha option to keep the transparent background.Then, click Save.


Extract system icons from macOS

System icons in macOS contain almost everything in the Finder, System Preferences, and other core utilities.They are located deep in the System CoreServices folder.

To find it, go into the Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder.Then type the following:


In the CoreServices folder, you'll find icons for Printers, Control Center, Clock, Dock, Finder, Siri, Weather, and Screen Time.In the CoreServices > Applications folder, you'll see various core utilities such as archive utilities, network utilities, screen sharing, wireless diagnostics, and more. CoreServices > CoreTypes.bundle contains generic icons, Finder icons, and high-quality Apple product icons.


To extract the System Preferences icon, navigate again to open the Finder's Go to Folder window and enter the following:

/ System / Library / PreferencePanes

In this folder you will see all preferences with the extension .prefPane.To extract icons, control-click on a specific preference, select Show Package Contents, and follow the steps above.


Easily extract icons from your Mac

No matter what method you choose, extracting high-quality icons from your Mac is easy.If you're tired of some of the default icons, why not try changing them?

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